“I did what I had to do.” Talk about a loaded sentence. But it’s a sentiment that applies to every major story arc for this season. It seems this whole season has been about trying to make the best of a bad situation, even if it takes an act of pure desperation. On some level I already knew that, but this episode had a way of bringing it all together for us.

Dean’s act of desperation was easily the most obvious since we’ve been grappling with the potential consequences all season. Is Ezekiel good or bad? Is he trying to take Sam’s body as a vessel? Will he leave once Sam is healed? Well, as it turns out, Ezekiel wasn’t Ezekiel at all. Curveball! And this act of desperation on Dean’s part had some seriously awful consequences for the people he loves. But he did what he felt he had to do in that moment and I still can’t say I disagree with his decision. Knowing Dean, we know what losing Sam would mean to him. He would be completely and utterly destroyed. And while it’s a selfish move, I’m a selfish viewer who wasn’t ready to let Sam go either, no matter what needed to be done. Just save Sam and figure out the rest later.

Even when Dean is explaining the situation to “Sam” you can see the desperation and the torment he went through in making the decision.

Dean: I gotta tell you some stuff fast and it’s gonna piss you off.”
Sam: “Ok”
Dean: “Those trials really messed you up.”
Sam: ‘Yes, I know that, Dean.”
Dean: “No you don’t. I mean messed you up like almost dead. Dust to dust. Well, that messed me up so I made a move. A tough move about you without talking it over because you were in a coma.”
Sam: “Wait, what? When?”
Dean: “You were in the hospital, ok, and they said you were gonna die.”
Sam: “Dean, what did you do?”
Dean: “I let an angel in.”
Sam: “In what?”
Dean: “In you. He said he could heal you, and he is.”

Sam: “He’s still in me? Wait, that’s impossible Dean, I never let him in.”
Dean: “I tricked you into saying yes. It seemed like the only way.”
Sam: “So, again you thought I couldn’t handle something so you took over.”
Dean: “I did what I had to do. You would have never agreed to it and you would have died.”

You hear the desperation. But you don’t hear regret. He’s not sorry for saving Sam, even if the circumstances were less than ideal. I wonder if he feels differently now knowing the full extent of the situation and all the consequences that came along with it.

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Gadriel, you son of a… To say I am upset would be an understatement. First he takes Sam’s body hostage and then he kills our sweet little prophet in his own act of desperation. While I’m inclined to hate him, his backstory is an interesting one. He was God’s most trusted angel, charged with protecting God’s greatest creation from evil and he failed. Because of this he was locked away in the dungeons of Heaven to pay for his mistakes. So it’s no wonder that when the angels fell to earth he was anxious to find a way to hide himself. That much I can forgive because it’s hard not to feel just a little bad for him. He seems convinced that it’s not his fault that the serpent entered the Garden of Eden. But he’s been punished and hated for it for so long. But my sympathy stops there. He has a chance to change his reputation and instead he takes up with Metatron, the most hated angel there is. Sure Metatron makes him all kinds of promises about rebuilding Heaven into God’s original vision, with only the best of the best allowed in. But doesn’t he know how Castiel was deceived? He’s been in Sam’s head long enough to have overheard that in conversation. And when Metatron tells Gadriel that he’ll need to neutralize their enemies, it’s clear he’s uneasy with the situation.

Gadriel: “That is not who I am.”

Well, it is now! He had the chance to say no, to realize this could not have been what God wanted for his perfect vision of Heaven but instead he did what he had to do to save his own ass. And Kevin Tran paid the price. I find myself wondering who will be next on Metatron’s list. Surely Castiel, Bartholomew and Malachi. But what about Dean?

SPN 9.9 Cass

Cass has had his own desperate moments this season as he has wrestled with guilt, hopelessness and humanity. He tried so hard to accept his fate and make the best of being a human but his feelings of responsibility and duty took over. And at the end of the day he did what he had to do to save himself and reclaim his grace. Well, not his grace exactly, but it will do. He is an angel again and I couldn’t be happier. I loved watching Cass navigate the intricacies of human interaction. It was such a fun change but I am definitely ready to have our ass-kicking angel back! And we need him now more than ever. Someone has to help Dean take down Metatron and Gadriel.

The second half of the season looks like it’s going to be chock-full of action. We’ll have Metatron and Gadriel to deal with, as well as Malachai and Bartholomew. All three groups are powerful and looking to gain control of Heaven. On top of that we have Crowley, the blood junkie, jumping at the chance to save Sam in exchange for his freedom. While his freedom means more Abaddon, it also means bad things for the Winchesters. I doubt he’ll be willing to just let the last few month’s go. My head is spinning!

As stressed as I am about Sam being an unwilling vessel, Kevin’s death and Metatron’s plans to become the new god, I can’t help but think about how beautifully the writers were able to bring together all of these storylines. This is what I hate/love about mid-season finales. They create a perfect storm of emotions and then just leave us to stew over the hiatus. If we’re going to go crazy, we might as well do it together!

There were some lines and moments that can’t go unmentioned!

The fight between the glee club and the born-again bikers was pretty awesome.

Dean: “You’re not up to warp speed yet, but you will be. Would I lie?”
Oh, Dean...

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Sam: “Agent”
Cass: (Smiling) “Agent”
He was so proud of himself.

Cass: “Cass is back in town!”
Dean: “Seriously, did he just say that?”

Cass: “It is so good being together again. You know, this is my first beer as a human. I hope it’s ok, me joining you.”
Sam : “Why wouldn’t it be okay?”
Dean: “You know, Cass, are you sure you’re ready to jump back into this? It seemed to me like you actually found some peace.”
Cass: “You once told me, ‘you don’t choose what you do, it chooses you’. I’m a part of this, like it or not.”

Dean and Cass reminiscing about April the hot waitress was hilarious.

Metatron: “I know who you really are, and it isn’t Ezekiel.”
Anyone else’s heart stop?

Dean: “Here’s the deal, when Sam was doing the trials to seal Hell, it messed him up, ok? The third one nearly killed him. If I let him finish it would have. He’s still messed up. Bad.
Cass: “You said the angel Ezekiel helped heal him.”
Dean: “I had to do anything I can to get him back. Now if that means that we keep our distance from you for a little while then I don’t have a choice. I don’t feel good about it, but I don’t have a choice. It’s great to have your help Cass, but we just can’t work together.”

And cue the sound of my heart breaking.

Metatron: “No more stupid angels. Maybe some funny ones.”

Gadriel: “Sam Winchester; it is a mess in here. The brother...I do not know where to start.”
Metatron: “I can free you from them. From all of them.”

Cass: “Ok, I am unfamiliar with this end of the process. Of course, no one may be listening. I have questions and there seem to be no answers. I wouldn’t presume to ask for help if I weren’t desperate. I’m lost, I need your guidance. Please, hear my prayer.”

Castiel’s changing prayer positions made me laugh so much. He really isn’t familiar with that end of the process.

Malachai: “Top-of-the-Christmas-tree Castiel”

Cass: “If we’re going to war, I need to be ready.

Dean: “Yesterday, Cinderella!”

Kevin: “I always trust you. And I always end up screwed.”
Dean: “Always? Not always.”
Well…most of the time.

Gadriel: ‘There is no more Sam. But I played him convincingly, I thought.”
Dean: “How did you…”
Gadriel: “I heard you talk with Kevin Tran tonight. Alter the sigil, even the slightest, alter the spell. Sorry about Kevin but ultimately it’s for the best. I did what I had to.”

Dean saying Kevin’s name at the end of the episode did me in!!

Is it January 14th yet?